Re: Euro currency sign

From: Misha Wolf (
Date: Tue Oct 21 1997 - 13:42:56 EDT

Lars Mathiese wrote:
> From: Misha Wolf <>
> Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 05:16:46 -0700 (PDT)
> ISO 3166 is not the source of currency codes. ISO 4217 is. It is true
> that most currency codes allocated by ISO 4217 have a ISO 3166 country code
> as their first two characters. This is not, however, universally so.
> Unless I missed some, all the exceptions to that rule (prior to the
> registration of EUR) were of the form "Xab", where "a" is a letter
> that is more or less mnemonic of the area using the currency, and "b"
> is the first letter of the name of the currency (as usual).
> Examples:
> XEU ECU (E for European Community, U for Unit)
> XAF Central African Franc (A for Africa, F for Franc)
> As far as I am informed, the ISO 3166 standard specifically reserves
> the codes beginning with X as a sort of private use area. (And IMO,
> this shows admirable forethought on the part of the WG defining 3166).
> ISO 4217 is thus not in conflict with ISO 3166, since the entities
> denoted by X? codes are not registered in the latter.
> In this system, the Euro might have been registered as XEE.
> The registration of EUR, however, arrogates the registrable 3166 code
> EU, and ignores the first-letter-of-currency-name guideline as well.
> Which only goes to show that the Commision is about as powerful as
> Bill Gates.

Let me quote from ISO 3166/MA N 334, "List of Reserved Code Elements",
dated May 1996:


   Indeterminate Reservations

   Certain code designations existing in other coding systems ...
   differing from those established in this Standard should not be used
   for designating entities in ISO 3166.
   EU European Union

  Misha Wolf Email: 85 Fleet Street
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